Medicaid long term care provides resources for medical and personal needs for people who have a chronic illness or disability and do not have enough in retirement savings or assets to pay for medical care. Medicaid long term care will pay for services such as help with the daily living activities of walking, eating, bathing, or dressing at home or in an assisted living or nursing facility.
Determining eligibility for Medicaid long term care can be challenging as each state has a defined “eligibility group” first for Medicaid and even if someone qualifies for Medicaid from the state, there are additional requirements for Medicaid long term care. The United States Department of Health and Human Services online advises that in most cases, qualifying for Medicaid is dependent upon “being 65 or older, having a permanent disability, being blind, being pregnant and be the child or caretaker of a child.” Other requirements include being a U.S. citizen or meeting specific immigration requirements, having residency in the state in which applying and have a Social Security number.”
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Once an individual meets these requirements, he or she also needs to meet the eligibility guidelines for long-term care. Here is where it gets tricky as each state has different guidelines related to how much income and assets a person can have to still be eligible for long-term care from Medicaid. The New Department of Human Services Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services provides information on eligibility and how to apply for Medicaid long term care.
In general, an individual cannot have more than $2,000.00 in assets to qualify for Medicaid. In New Jersey, to apply for Medicaid, an individual would have to go through NJ FamilyCare, and meet monthly income requirements. If an individual living in New Jersey receives Supplemental Security Income (SSI), he or she is automatically eligible for Medicaid long term care as defined in the New Jersey FamilyCare program.
In New Jersey, Medicaid long term care is under the Managed Long Term Services and Supports (MLTSS), and these programs serve the frail, elderly, and disabled individuals. For those who qualify, the MLTSS programs cover care management, home, and vehicle modifications, home delivered meals, respite, and mental health services in addition to long term care provided in a nursing facility.
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When an individual has limited retirement savings or assets and requires care, the choice to apply for Medicaid long term care may be a wise decision to ensure he or she gets the care needed. However, since Medicaid is managed at the state level, different guidelines exist in each state. In New Jersey, one can apply for Medicaid and find out additional information through NJ FamilyCare. For those who need long term care and lack the resources, Medicaid provides an option for care.
Accessing Medicaid for your loved one can be confusing and difficult. At Bratton Law, we have a team of Medicaid specialists here to assist you and your loved one with the application. Contact us today at 856-857-6007 to arrange a consultation with a knowledgeable estate planning attorney.